Acts 5 = worst church marketing program ever?

The title is sarcastic, of course.  The church grew dramatically even with this not-so-seeker-sensitive approach where God kills Ananias and Sapphira on the spot for lying to the Holy Spirit. It is unfortunate that mainline, “seeker-sensitive” and “emergent” churches didn’t study it more carefully before watering down their doctrine so badly.  When leaders feel that they must twist or ignore the word of God to advance the kingdom it is evidence of weak or non-existent faith.

Acts 4:32-5:11

The Believers Share Their Possessions

32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34 There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.

36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.

Ananias and Sapphira

5     Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.

3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.”

5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.

7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”

“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”

9 Peter said to her, “How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

In the midst of the explosive church growth we read this cautionary tale.  Some people read it as the early Christians being communistic, but that isn’t the point at all.  As always, we must read carefully and in context.

The passage describes the general behavior of believers but it doesn’t say God commanded this (“No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.”). 

Peter didn’t say that Ananias and Sapphira were obligated to donate anything at all: “Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal?”

The sin wasn’t in not giving enough, it was lying to God.   This was a serious thing, especially when the church was forming.  They needed purity and honesty, just like we do today.  Just because we are in the age of grace doesn’t mean that God doesn’t take sin seriously. 

Satan was defeated at the cross in an ultimate sense, but he was and is still active in tempting Christians and non-Christians. 

Despite this event, the church continued to grow.  Consider how lax church discipline is in the U.S. today.  I’m not wishing for judgments like those again Ananias and Sapphira, but the lack of discipline has let all kinds of false teachers in the church and corrupted our witness. 

Again, this passage was not a Biblical command to be property-less.  Saying your possessions aren’t your own doesn’t mean anyone can come take them.  It is recognizing that ultimately they all come from God.  We aren’t giving him anything He didn’t give us in the first place.

Other passages round out the New Testament guidance on giving, notably 2 Corinthians 9:6-7:

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

We don’t need deception to spread the Gospel.  We need the truth.  We should share it as ambassadors, but we should share it without apology.  If you distort the message to appeal to spiritually dead people, then don’t be surprised when your church gets off track.

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Planned Parenthood caught facilitating gender-selection abortions and Medicaid fraud

The real war on women is killing females just because they are female. Watch the whole video and how the lady laughs about gender selection abortions and says, “I hope that you get your boy.” (Next time, of course.)

See Planned Parenthood overview for more of their evils, such as hiding statutory rape and sex trafficking victims.  They have the most brilliantly evil marketing team on the planet, positioning themselves as helpers of women and the Komen Foundation as enemies.

Then again, their payoffs to politicians and the 90%+ pro-abortion mainstream media probably help.  Just watch and see how the mainstream media handles this.

Here’s the unedited video in case you’ve heard PP fans claims that anything was out of context.

Roundup

In one study, half the scientists admitted to reporting only desired results — But you can totally trust what the politics-disguised-as-science global warming, Darwinian evolutionist and pro-gay monopolists tell you about science and psychology!

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Jon Stewart admits he’s not just a Democrat but a Socialist — I appreciate his candor.  I just wish that those who get their “news” from him had better discernment.

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Brannon Howse Interviews Former Roman Catholic Priest Richard Bennett — A good question for a pastor, priest or any layperson claiming the name of Christ: Can you tell me in detail about how much you’ve studied the Bible?

I absolutely love Richard Bennett and his online ministry, Berean Beacon. I have handed out his testimony on CD for a number of years now. The most startling thing I have learned about Catholicism from Bennett’s ministry is that Catholics do not learn the Bible in seminary…..they mostly learn church history, “their” version, anyway. Yet all the Catholics I know are trained from a young age to venerate their priests as possessing greater biblical knowledge, when in fact, they possess little Bible knowledge, if any. So I like that Richard Bennett, as a former priest, has exposed this little known fact. And it was through actually reading the Bible that Richard Bennett was converted.

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Heb 4:12

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Uncle Walter Revealed as Corrupt Left-Wing Hack — the Internet has its downsides, but one of the greatest things is that we have countless ways to get news and can use our discernment to see which are most reliable.

Surprise surprise. Walter Cronkite — the erstwhile “Most Trusted Man in America” who did more than anyone to win the Vietnam War for his fellow collectivists — has been revealed as a corrupt moonbat:

A thorough new biography of Walter Cronkite by Douglas Brinkley reveals that he was not the unbiased journalist his supporters have always claimed him to be. In fact, he was a liberal who used his position as America’s top anchor to promote the left and damage the right. …

Cronkite had a secret deal with Pan Am which flew his family around the world to vacation spots like the South Pacific for free. The President of the CBS News Division knew about the arrangement but did nothing about it.

Cronkite’s behavior wasn’t just personally unethical, it was also professionally unethical. It was Cronkite who persuaded Robert Kennedy — during a private meeting in his office — to run for President in 1968.

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Harry Reid [and the Democratic Party] Deliberately Helps Illegal Aliens to Continue Looting Us for $Billions — Now why would a political party deliberately give incentives for people to enter our country illegally, consume healthcare and other benefits and get paid for it?

At least now that it has been well publicized that illegal aliens are scamming the IRS for$billions by claiming all their relatives back in Mexico as dependents, our rulers will do something to staunch the bleeding. Then again, maybe not:

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) blocked a move to bring the Child Tax Credit Integrity Preservation Act (S577) to the floor, and in doing so, assured that those working in this country illegally will continue to receive billions of dollars in tax refunds for children that do not even live in this country.

In 2011, U.S. Treasury Department Inspector General Russell George released a report revealing that the Internal Revenue Service doled out $4.2 billion in refundable tax credits to illegal aliens in 2010 alone.

Obama refused to close the loophole, so the Republican House took action. But the Senate is controlled by Democrats.

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House to examine proposal for United Nations regulation of the Internet — Any politician who votes to give anything to the UN should be voted out of office and possibly tried for treason.  Mercifully, both sides seem to be against this — for now.

United Nations has a simple business plan when it comes to wresting control of as much of the world as possible: Pronounce yourself the global arbiter of human rights, then declare everything a human right.

The UN has already said Internet access is a human right, so naturally the best way to police that human right is to put the UN in charge of the Internet.

. . .

Because when you think “Internet freedom” you think China and Russia. Don’t worry though, the UN wouldn’t have a Internet “kill switch” (they call theirs an “enemies of human rights emergency denial-of-service button” —definitely not the same thing).

What’s to consider? Nancy Reagan’s “just say ‘no’” rule applies to anything that would grant the United Nations more authority over anything.

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Craig Groeschel on the Big &%#*! Deal about Profanity

Since I wasn’t sure what The Hangover was rated, my last check point involved doing a little research to see if this was a movie for the whole family or one just for me and my wife to watch together. What I discovered floored me.

According to www.screenit.com, this comedy has more than its fair share of non-family-friendly scenes, intense language, and sexual situations. The rough spots include 91 different variations of the f-bomb (apparently it can function as noun, verb, adjective — maybe even a conjunction for all I know), 41 excretory words, 14 references to a person’s behind, 13 “hells,” and nine slang terms for male anatomy. To top it all off, this hilarious movie has 31 different versions of taking God’s name in vain.

When I told my friends and staff members that the movie had 91 f-bombs, which averages out to approximately one version of the “f” word per minute, they were all shocked. “Really? I didn’t even notice” was the most common response.

Really… you didn’t notice one “f” word each minute?

Going and coming

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It is a major challenge to leave one church and join another, but there are some key success factors on both sides that can help you.

I already mentioned How to start at your new church.  We basically did these without the list when we switched churches last year and it worked well.

Also see How to leave your old church for some more good advice.  We did those things as well.  Having been there for 15 years, we had a lot of very good friendships that we wanted to maintain — even though as a matter of conscience I couldn’t worship there any longer.

I heard from a third party that our former pastor said we left in the most gracious way he had seen, which told me that I probably wasn’t mean enough ;-).  I say that not out of self promotion but to point out the importance of a clear exit strategy.  I spent a lot of time thinking and planning how to leave without burning any unnecessary bridges.  We tried to tell our small group friends and then immediately told the pastor so he wouldn’t hear it from others first.

One thing the link mentions is to “kindly and honestly answer the question ‘Why did you leave?'”  I tried to be simple, thorough and accurate when answering that for the pastor and anyone else who asked.  I gave the pastor the full list and more context.  I didn’t want to nitpick or be spiteful, but I also didn’t want to pull any punches on the main reasons we were leaving.  It is a win-win situation when you do that: Either they take the constructive criticism and make positive changes, or they ignore it and validate why it was wise for you to leave.  With others we didn’t know as well I gave them a shortened version (some as brief as “creative differences”).

False teacher hypocrisy for Memorial Day

False teacher Chuck Currie just can’t kick his hypocritical race baiting.  See What’s On Right Wing Talk Radio? Bigoted Paranoia

Evangelicals, Mainline Christians and Roman Catholics have repeatedly condemned those who question the president’s Christian faith for partisan political reasons

I am now convinced that Chuck has a template with this fallacy already typed in.  Just because some people in those groups hold that view, he pretends that all do. Sure, Chuck.

And look here how Obama’s former UCC minister notes that church wasn’t the Obama’s “thing” and how he isn’t even sure Obama is a Christian.  Think about that: Obama’s multiple-decade UCC minister said those things.  And if you can’t trust a UCC minister, who can you . . . oh, wait, bad example — Chuck’s a UCC “minister!”

We can expect opponents of the president this election – big and small – to attempt to exploit racial divisions and to paint President Obama as something “other” than fully as American.

Uh, maybe that is because Obama himself claimed to be born in Kenya?  I don’t think he was born there.  I think he’s a liar, like Chuck, who will say anything to advanced his cause.

Consider the new racially charged film financed by right-wing billionaire Joe Ricketts that suggests that the president has a Kenyan, not American, world-view.

Looks like Chuck, along with the rest of the mainstream media, hasn’t read Obama’s writings (at least those that he didn’t have sealed out of his paranoia).

These campaigns against President Obama are driven by fear, hatred and racism – let’s be honest.

Oh, good, Chuck switched over to honesty mode!  Here’s some real honesty: Chuck is dishonest and the biggest racist of all, favoring taxpayer-funded abortions that will increase the 3x rate of black abortions to whites.

Pro-abortion, libelous false teacher demands less violence and more civility, so you better listen!

From the “you can’t make this stuff up” category, false teacher Chuck Currie’s latest “type before you think” post brings us this gem:

People of faith must demand an end to gun violence and a return to civility in public life.

First, he reflexively uses the fallacious “people of faith” line.  No matter how many times you tell him how meaningless that is (the 9/11 bombers were “people of faith,” too), he still pretends that it means something.

And for a guy who has a long track record of race-baiting, lying about what people wrote in comments on his blog and more, it is amusing to hear the hypocritical calls for civility.

But most sickening is that someone who is so pro-abortion that he’s pro-taxpayer funded abortion — and thinks Jesus is, too! — would pretend to be anti-violence.

If abortion isn’t violent, nothing is violent.

And Chuck knows that abortions kill blacks at a rate three times that of whites.  That’s the real racism.  Presumably his employers (the apostate United Church of Christ and the “Jesus Seminar” Westar Institute), agree with his “faithful” belief that one of our problems in society is that we aren’t killing enough black children in the womb.  If only we could kill more of them then we’d be on the way to realizing Chuck’s goals.

It is too bad that abortions don’t kill the unborn with guns.  Then Chuck would oppose them!

Roundup

Happy Memorial day weekend!  May we all take time to remember the ultimate sacrifices of those who defended this country and made it the best in the world.

—–Pearls Before Swine

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How to start at your new church — Excellent advice.  We basically did these without the list when we switched churches last year and it worked well.

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Olympian Lolo Jones is staying a virgin until marriage — good for her!  Hope that inspires her followers and that she wins gold this year.
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20,000 Felons Signed Walker Recall Petition — but we totally don’t need voter ID laws, right?  Because those are racist.  Wait . . . isn’t it more racist to assume that blacks and Hispanics are so helpless that they can’t go get a free ID?

The Democrats will stop at nothing to win elections.  They will register dead people, mentally disabled people, and even criminal felons.

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From the “you can really feel the love and tolerance” and the obligatory “you won’t hear about this from the Liberal media” categories: Threat to burn down local Catholic church & profane attacks after pro-traditional marriage sign is posted on church property.

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Bomber Turned Left Wing Activist, Brett Kimberlin, Tries to Silence Conservative Opposition — Blogger Stacy McCain and his family have had to leave their home because of his threats.  Ask yourself why this isn’t all over the mainstream media.

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Slavery, gay marriage, and hypocrisy in the black church — excellent article debunking the fallacious linkage of interracial marriage and “same-sex marriage.”  Hat tip: Alyssa from Facebook.

There is a real irony to the accusation that deriving a heterosexual definition of marriage from the Bible is analogous to using Scripture to justify of American slavery. In fact, in the list of practices that have no place in the church (found in 1 Timothy 1:9-10), right before “enslavers” is this word: “homosexuals.” The exact same passage that condemns the forcible trade of humans as property also condemns the act of homosexuality.

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Romney opens new front vs Obama: schools are failing — Good tack on his part.  He has nothing to lose in going after unions.  We should emphasize how pro-choice we are (about schools) every chance we get.

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Ancient Bethlehem seal unearthed in Jerusalem — Hey, the Bible was right again!  I heart archaeology.

Israeli archaeologists have discovered a 2,700-year-old seal that bears the inscription “Bethlehem,” the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Wednesday, in what experts believe to be the oldest artifact with the name of Jesus’ traditional birthplace.

The tiny clay seal’s existence and age provide vivid evidence that Bethlehem was not just the name of a fabled biblical town, but also a bustling place of trade linked to the nearby city of Jerusalem, archaeologists said.

Eli Shukron, the authority’s director of excavations, said the find was significant because it is the first time the name “Bethlehem” appears outside of a biblical text from that period.

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